In September of 1969, three young men meet on a college campus and decide to be roommates. They become friends as they drudge their way through what is for them and many of us the worst year of their lives, their first year of college.
Stan is a Mexican-American from a very rural area. Lenny comes from a wealthy family, and though he is enrolled in college, he spends most of his time attempting to launch his career as a comedian. Darius is an African-American with a near genius IQ. The three young men become friends and roommates. Like most freshmen they must adjust to a new and challenging academic environment, dating, dorm life and dorm food. Stan's challenges are particularly daunting: he must learn how to live in a world he thinks is strange, convoluted, and very confusing. The friends celebrate their joys together and help each other through a variety of difficult times.
But Freshmen is much more than a warm and compelling story about friendship and coming-of-age. The novel often is very funny. The young men enjoy many of the cultural high points of the 1969-1970 school year--"Laugh-In," "Abbey Road, and "Easy Rider." And they must deal with a suicidal neighbor, the draft, the war in Vietnam, the invasion of Cambodia as well as the campus unrest that followed.
Ultimately Freshmen is a universal story of hopes and dreams and an anthem about the importance of friendship and the value of brotherhood.